tv Charlie Rose PBS July 8, 2011 12:30pm-1:30pm EDT
>> welcome to the broadcast, i'm hall hunt filling in for charlie rose who's on assignment. president obama met with congressional leaders today in the late rount of debt talks. we'll talk to virginia's senator mark warner andidaho's republican senat mike cpo. >> i hope it is in that $4 trillion to $5 trillion range over a ten-year frame. remember, that still doesn't get rid of our total debt which is north of $14 trillion. we add $4 billion a day to that. i do think we'll get there, though, at least a framework. mike and i are still hopeful that our ideas that we've worked on can be part of this discussion because... candidly
because the alternative is so awful. >> yes, we are looking at tax expeitures and loopholes, if you will, that have been discussed so much in the last few days. but we are talking about that in the context of fundamental tax reform: reducing... broadening the base, reducing the rates, not increasing the rates but reducing the rates and generating a powerful economic stimulus that will generate the kind of revenue that we need to have in order to deal with the revenue side of our... of the equation. >> next, juliana goldman of bloombernews andaurie montgomery of the "washingt post" put this all in context. so the president can be the leader. it'setter for him t be the driverhan e details right now. and so they want to be able to push to say, hey, even if the president iled, at least he didn't make concessions on a small scale, he tried, he went for something big and failed. >> boehner is clearly on board for something. but i think right now the other four lders are trying to figure out is this politically
where we want to go and can we assemble the votes for something of this magnitude. >> we conclude by turning to the n.b.a. and n.f.l. labor disputes with sally jenkins of the "washington post" and kevin blackistone of the university of maryland and espn. >> maybe it's time for fans to reassess why they're spending like crack addicts on the four major sports when there are lots of other affordable, available things to watch for a lot less money that appreciate the fans perhaps a little bit better and who value the fan more properly. >> with the n.f.l., it's very much reflective to me of what we're going through in america right now where in 201 you've had record profits in corporate america yet corporate america points to the economy, says it niece bad shape and pois to unions and workers and asks for concessions. that's the exact same thing going on in the n.f.l. when you talk about $9 billion in revenue. >> the deficit talks and the n.f.l./n.b.a. labor disputes coming up.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our sdios in new york city, this is charlie rose >> hunt: we begin tonight with the latest on the budget talks. after meeting with top congressional leaders, president obama said both sis had pledged to come to an agreement before augus2. that's when treasury secretary tim geithner said the u.s. will default on its debt obgations. though there was no break through, the president said today's talks has been "very conductive." >> i will reconvene congressional leaders here on sunday with the expectation that at that point the parties will at least know where each other's bottom lines are and we'll hopefully be in a position to then start engaging in the hard bargaining that's necessary to get a deal done. i want to emphasize that nothing
comprehensive tax reform both on the corporate side and personal sideould make america more competitive, help create jobs in our country, and it's something at's under discussion. we know the entitlement programs are important programs for tens of millions of americans. but we also know that if they're not reformed they won't exist in the future. there are changes that need to be made ensure that those programs are around for the long term. >> hunt: joining me now are democratic senator mark warner of virginia and republican senator mike crapo of idaho. they are part of a bipartisan group of senators who have worked f months tirelessly on a deficit reduction proposal, thank you both of you for being with us this evening. i'll start off with a question to both of you. we'll start with you senator crapo. what are the odds, do you think, of a bipartisan by august 2 and what will be the sizend scope if theres one? >> well, it's impossible to
place odds on this because it's so difficult but i'll tell you the size of it needs to be swra somewhere the neighborhood of $4 to $5 trillion in my opinion to give us the breathing space we need to get our fiscal paradigm shift to what it needs to be. i ink all parties are working hard to get there but as you can see from the negotiations we've had over the last six months, there's tremendous amount on the table and there's a lot of complexity that needs to be worked through. >> hunt: senator warner which you were a betting man-- which i know you're not becaus you're a senator-- you wouldn't want to place it on $4 to $5 trillion would you? >> i hope it is a n that range over a ten-year frame. remember, that still doesn't get rid of our total debt which is north of $14 trillion. we add $4 billion a day to that. i do think we'll get there, though. at least a framework. mike and i are still hopeful that our ideas that we've worked
on can be part of this discussion. candidly because the alternative is so awful. i don't think folks fully understand the implications of what would happen if the markets saw interest rates spike to 12% car loan rates, what it would do to job creation. it would be soer responseable if we don't take on this issue and let the country default. so i actually am confident something will happen. i again hope with mike it's on a large size, not the small size. >> nt: well you say that, but so of your colleagues as you know like senator demint and toomey say, hey, it' not that big a deal if we hit august 2 and there'sno deal. >> well, i've got to tell you, there's not a responsible economist from left to right, there is not a single business leader or a single person involved with the markets that acce that. you ll already start to see, i think, by mid to late july a risk premium built in.
you've already seen credit default swaps for american debt cost higher now than they do for countries like panama and the philippines and mexico a acpt they're betr credit risks than america. i think that's a remarkably naive view and there's no responsible business leader or dmais has that view. so i think cooler heads will prevail. i'd like to see the business community more at the table. they so expect us to get something done. i wish they were walking the halls of congress demanding that we do the kind of responsible approach senator crapo and i have been working on. >> hunt: senator warner, you wrote a column in the "washington post" about at. if it's that important, why is wall street and the business community been so tepid or lax or absent on this? and is there any chance of that changing? >> i think it's going to change. they tell me and i'm on the phone, i'm a little obsessed about is issue. when i'm on the phones with them daily they say they're going to
get letters and kind of show up here. i think they think this is such a no brainer that we'll get it done that it's simply political brings man ship. i don't think they believe some of these members of congress will who say uer no consequences will they raise the debt limit. i believe and i hope that they'll get down here and make their voices heard because i believe there are members who will do that becau they don't think the repercussions are so grave. but you have to... again, i'll go back to where i started. there's not a responsible business leader i've met from either political party that doesn't think this would be a catastrophe. >> it's kind of tting late. it's the 11th hour. >> at some point you could see the shorts on the markets start to say, hey, this isn't going to happen and this thing starts to unravel. we can't say grace over what's happening in europe and watch out right what might happen.
we would all be responsible. so i'd like to have their shoulders to the oars as well in terms of helping us get a responsible long term deal. >> hunt: senator crapo, letme ask you this because you at senator warner andour other senators to start and three other senators still have worked day and night with all kinds of the best intentions but you couldn't "commitment 2010" up with a consensus to do it. if a gang of five can't do it, how do we expect a gang of 536 to do it? >> first of all, the gang of five is going to move forward. i'm very confident of that. we have made tremendous progress and i still feel veryopeful that we are going to be able to get a reay comprehensive paradigm shift in american fiscal policy into play. and what i'm talking about there what we've been talking abo, is something in the neighborhood of the $4 to $5 trillion range. it puts everything on the table. we deal with all sides of the issue and we do in the a way
that can bring together the competing ideology about how we should handle revenue, how we should handle tax policy, how we should handle entitlements, discretionary spending, war spending, disaster policy. it's very complex. i think the fact that we've taken six months to work through this at a detailed level shows the level of complexity but it also shows that we can get there. you have six senators... five senators now, six senators at the beginning who had been have from very... who are from very broad and diverse parts of the political spectrum and yet we have been able to stay on task and get tremendous agreement on focusing our fiscal policy in this country inhe right direction. >> rose: senator, do you expect to put out a gang of five recommendations over the next couple days or week? >> well, let me say i hope that we will. i... there is no deal yet and we still have some snificant
issues to resolve, but we, as i said, are making significant progress. and i can tell you that already the structure of what we have put together is becoming increasingly obvious as the most powerful and potent structure that's out there. i really think the approach we have take season the approach that is going to help us build a bipartisan solution and it's not just going to be a solution that both sides can agree to. it is going to be a powerful shift in american policy that will help us aim this country's fiscal policy in the right direction. >> hunt: how does your approach-- without getting into specifics, which i assume you're not going to do, though you can, you're welcome to if you'd like to-- differ from bowles simpson? >> well, we do use the bowles-simpson template, if you will. so if you're familiar with the bowles-simpson template,hat is the basic foundatn from where we are building.
but what we are doing is going into each issue-- from social security to the health care system, entitlements, all of the entitlements, to discretionary spending to defense spending and to the revenue issues- and we are finding... i guess what i would say is creative solutions that maintain the objective of achieving deficit reduction in each o those areas but still allow the competing ideologies to find success me the process. in other words, we are finding ways that help us bridge those gaps and develop win-win solutions. it's not easy. that's why it's taken so long. but we are making that progress. >> can i just add one thing all of us have really operad i think in enormously good faith. senator coburn took a sabbatical we're hopeful he may come back. there's lot ofenators that are very interested and it's really been challenging. but whate've done th the bowles-simpson approach we've
also looked at the process. how do you actually get it through those other 535 folks and t president? how do you make sure that if we put caps in place and other tools in place they're not gotten rid of when the economy gets better so we keep the fiscal discipline. we don't a perfect path. i don't think there is a perfect path. but i'm very optimistic like mike and i know that from some of your viewers and all the press u'll only believe it when you see it. so we don't want to predict a date but i still think the work product we've got, whether it's incorporated in the activities that the preside's doing and with the other congressional leaders takes a different path, there's too much good work here not to have in the mix. >> al, i'd like to follow up and just highlight something that mark just said. negotiation looking at all of the different pieces of this from discretionary to entitlement to tax policy and the like, one of the most powerful parts of what we are doing is we are creating an enforcement system in our
agreement that will be stronger than i think anything congress has ever seen. americans are familiar with how congress can use its own loopholes to get around its own spending restraints. we are creating an ability for congress to say... for the american people to say to congress "you're notoing to do that anymore." and that's one of the most powerful parts of what i believe we are working on. >> hunt: senator crapo, let me ask you. this your leader, senator mitch mcconnell, has said the package cannot include any revenue increases. on several occasio you said it will be a balanced package which will include revenues. does senator mcconnell speak for the republican caucus and does that rule that out? >> well, i think it's very important that you understand that we... what we are doing is building on the bowles-simpson approach which changed the paradigm, if you will, of how we deal with tax policy. tin said the of the age-old battle over whether we're going to rage tax race or lower tax rates or whether we're going
raise rates on the middle-class or what have you, we are approaching in the a different way. yes we are looking at the tax expenditures and loopholes, if you will, at will be discussed in the last few days. but we are talking about that the context of fundental tax reform, redusing... broaden the base, reducing the rates, not increasing the rates but reducing the rates and generating a powerful economic stimulus that will generate the kind of revenue we need to have in order to deal with the revenue side of the equation. >> hunt: but you still would add net revenue which is senator mcconnell says is a non-starter. >> well, i can't speak for anyone other than myself but i think it's very important to understand the difference between raising taxes and raising revenues. i don't think you will a lot of opposition to funmental tax reform that creates a much more powerful and dynamic tax code that will generate revenues. the way i pu it is this: if you
were to look at our income tax co today, i don't think you would find very much disagreement that it would be hard to create one that is more complex, more unfair, more expensive to comply with and more anti-coetite to u. businessnterests globally. and if we address those problems in our tax code, we will actually be able to reduce rates and increase revenue. and i don't really think there's an argument with. at >> al, let me just add.... >> hunt: senor warner, let me ask you this, though. speaker pelosi said on the other hand fine, we'll have a package but no social security and no medicare. can you get a package that... the scopthat you want without entitlements? >> al, i don't see there's any what that yocan solve the problem of the debt and deficit without looking at both sides of the balance sheet. you have to look at spending, that includes entitlements. you have to look at revenues in a way that i think generates growth. one of the things that i've learned in my couple years up here and i was in private
business, as you know, for years i was governor of a state-- the accounting systems that states have and private sector have pale in comparison to the kind of mishmash of how we account in the federal government. we do things like... we have things built into the law that each year we ignore, like that so-called dock fix or the alternative minimum tax. so how you... at the end of the day what you ought to look at is do we lower the absolute amount of debt that the country owes? now.... >> hunt: would you call that revenue increasing? >> there are ways.... >> hunt: what i'm saying is on the entitlent ste, i believe entitlements have to be part of the mix. i want to make sure there is social security for 75 years, i wa to make sure medicare is here past 2024. i want to preserve those programsnd the demographics of an aging population and the current kind of amount of people paying in versus the dollars going out, they just don't balae. so let's preserve those programs in a way that protects our
seniors. >> hunt: sators, stickith us we'll be back in a second. i wantto turn towo other experts we have here, lori montgomery, thchief econic poli reporter for the "washington post" who's been following this day and night and juliana goldman, bloomberg news white house correspondent. laurie do you see any rean for opt name they'll come up with a $4 or $5le from deal? >> it's a murky picture. speaker boehne came out of the white house sounding optimistic. he went and talked to senate republicans and indicated that a deal if it's going to happen is likely to emerge within the next 24 to 48 hours and we'll know very quickly whether or not a deal will happen. but, boy, you talk to some of these other factions in the capitol and it is hard to find anybody who sees how this is going to all coasce. >> hunt: y had a story today that said that they were putting... the white house was willing to consider social security, medicare, and other things. big pushbackrom the white house on that. is it just because you revealed something they didn't want reveald? >> well, i think they... i don't
think that they've found anything inaccurate and th story. >> hunt: no, they didn't. >> i think the attention. the emphasise placed o the fact that, yo know, democrats have tried very hard to take social security off the table. and there was real alarm on the hill yesterday when word started to spread that the white house had put social security back on the table. now, they're onl talking about adjusting the measure of ination used to adjust benefits, but tt in the view of democrats could become a significt benefit cut and that's something that they hav said that theyill draw the line at. >> hunt: see if i'm oversimplifying this. both sides sort of have a political nuclear weapon, if you will. for republans it's the threat that democrats are going to raise your taxes, for democrats it's the republicans are going to cut medicare and entitlements. in order to get anything big done you've got to do both. you can't do one. if you don't do something significant on entitlements, republicans will never buy off on taxes. they may not anyway. and if you don't do something
significant on taxesou'll never get... is that fair? >> that's exactly right. it's mutually assured destruction and both sides have tolow up their weapons and do it at the same time and get it over with and agree not to beat each other the head after it's done. you can't get to $4 trillion without doing those two things. >> hunt: you've got to spread the pain. >> and right now wt everybody is trying to gure out... i mean, boehner is clearly on board for something but i think right now the other four leaders are trying to figure out is this politically where we want to go and can we asumable the votes for something of this magnitude. >> hunt: julianna, from barack obama's perspective, what's the promise and the peril of trying to go big ball, grand bargain? >> well, as you were just talking about with the nuclear option, essentially. it's a bitter pill for both sides to swallow so it provides both sides the cover they need heading into an election year. a few other elements are at play for the president here. he's going out there now calling if more grand bargain, $4 trillion deal in line with what
he had proposed a few months ago at george washington university and this allows the president to say hey, i pushed for something big, the white house says that the american people want to see leaders come together to get something big down now, that is big opportunity. so the president can be the leader. it's better for him to be the driver than the details right now. and so they want to be able to push to say, hey, even if the president failed at least he didn't make concessions on a sml scale, he tried, heent for something big and failed and that's whathey think is the better option. >> hunt: any concern about their own rty? david plouffe was here for breakfast and said "democrats have to get out of their comfort zone on this." >> a real warning shot to the democratic partyight now. that's because each day they continue with negotiations the clock ticks down to august 2. so the biggest issue right now for the american people is the
economy and there's a real economic argument here. senator warner was talking about the risk pmium that's going to be built into the markets if there isn't proess done by mid to late july so you've seen the warning shoots fro moody's, from standard & poor's and this could be a real catastrophic consequence building up between now and the next few weeks if there isn't a deal done. so it's still boiling down the economy. >> hunt: is the white house speculation that the republicans have to back down on taxes because otherwise they'll have a market? >> well, the message from the white house is it has to be a balanced approach and you've already seen over the last week since the language about having to close loopholes for oil and gas interests for corporate jets millionaires and billionaires that there has been some retreat from republicans. you heard er cantor open the door to that. >> hunt: teeny. >> teeny. but also you had speaker john baner in the private meeting that he and president obama had
on sunday at the white house that the white house won't confirm but we all know it did happen. so there does seem to be some maneuvering going on here. >> hunt: lori, again, senator crapo and senator warner i think have said they might do something in the nt couple days and they are probably close deite thorny issues. but as far as the other... the boehner, obama, biden talks, et cetera, do you get the sense there's a consensus on at least half of what needs to be done? >> there's consensus on the ckets of things that need to be involved but the message we were getting o of the biden talks is while the people at the talks felt they were moving forward there were people outside the talks who were not seeing this thing getting where it needed to go. republicans in particular thought the administration was not giving enough on discretionary cu up front
which is where they count the most if you... you've got to start cutting the budget in 2012 and if if you put the cuts off until the out years republicans aren't convinced that's real. so it's not clear to what we believed was even sort of a consensus building in the biden talks was holding together outside of that room. and now we've got a consensus, i think, of the... if we want to go big that means we've got to tackle entitlements, we've got to do taxes and a lot on discretionary cuts. but it's hard to see that anybody has actually given. we've heard pelosi today reaffirm we're not going to do benefit cuts. >> hunt: pelosi and mcconnell says get a deal but don't touch my sacred cow. you talked about out year cuts and they have to do something. en't there a lot of economists who say yeah, you ought to do something big but not right now. it shouldn't take effect for a couple years because we still have a sluggish economy. >> you're right but tt's part of the difficult dynamic here
because republicans, particularly in thehouse but also in the senate want to see cut this is year. they want to see immediate cuts. they don't believe that if democrats commit to start cutting after 20 that those cuts will actually happen. so they want real cuts to take home to their voters in 2012 and 20 13, here, we're doing it. >> and one of the things that david plouffe said in the breakfast sterday was that over ten years there would be net revenue but he did then leave open the door that if you had payroll tax cuts or what not that it wouldn't be a net positive inhese years. >> hunt: you get more stimulus. defense on the table? how big? >> another problem. because athis point they had a sort of hand shake dealor something over a trillion dollars in discretionary cuts. democrats said well, when you go
into appropriations and start making these cuts this is how much that has to go to defense. republicans said no, they have t agreed to that yet. it's a major stumbling block at this point. so while it was beginning to look like in the biden talks that there was consensus around certain things, and i think it's true in some of the non-health maatory like farm subsidies and federal worker pensis and trb i care i understand is on the table, they agreedhat the were rape targets. but the idea that they agreed on what to cut and how to cut it i think was oversold. >> hunt: again, what's the defense target if they could get a con seine us? >> well, obama has offered something like $300 billion over ten. or $400 over 12. but i don't think republicans have been willing to accept that so far. >> hunt: when we talk about crunch time now, julianna, we've had the biden-led negotiations, tigeithner's been involved.
is it now coming back to secretariat, as they say? this is ama? >> yeah, this is what we saw with the budget negotiations for the continuing resolution. it's also what we saw in the tax cut deal at the end of the year. the president is sort of coming out now trying to assert his leadership. it's theattern. expecting him to ctinue to use the bully pulpit and if you see e tone hs been using over the last week, he came out in that press conference, scolded lawmakers, put them in tention didn't let them go on their july 4 vacation, they're t grounded anymore and he's trying ssort of reward good behavior and i think he will continue to see the president trying to act lik the parent or the real leader here going forward until there is a deal. >> hunt: let meo back to the senators if i may for a secon you've heard lori and julianna. i will invite you to pick up on
anything and i have another question or two i want to throw at you. mark warner? >> i just would add that i think both of the commentators pointed out the ups and downs of specific things. i frankly think the american people are way ahead of us. they will do their part if we actually work together. i think half the american people would be for whatever deal as long as it was bipartisan and everybody looked like they were trying to put the country first and it was a little bit of everybody having skin in the game. we both gotta give on this. i come back to what mike and i and the others have been working with. i think we've got something to add to that. i hope we get it into the mix. we won't get a solution if it's only a democrat or republican-only solution. war war senator crapo >> i would add tohat mark is exactly right. but the discussion that weust heard from lori and julianna shows how complex this i we've been working at this for six months and we've all been doing in the good faith but it's
incribly complex when we think about putting social security, all of the entitlements, health care and all of the other entitlements, discretionary ending including defense spendingnd complete reform and changing the entire paradigm of our tax policy, that is complicated work. we've put the time into this process to have, i think, a product that if we can come forward with it, if we can make it to the finish line we'll give americans a high comfort level that there is a way to deal do this, it can be the size that we need and it can be done on a bipartisan basis. you know, again, if you look at the size issues, we're talking $4 to $5 trillion. if we were to, as a country, pass a $4 to $5 trillion bill and stick with it for ten years our deficit would still be about 72% of our g.d.p. which is wholly too much. but at least it wouldn't be 100% of our g.d.p., which it will be
if we do nothing and we won't see those interest rate spikes and her enomic calamities that mark talked about. >> hunt: let me ask you this. if something were put on the table, a $4 trillion plus deficit deal over the next ten years, over a trilli dollars of domestic discretionary cuts, well over a trillion dollars in tbacks and entitlement programs, $400 billion on defense and over a trillion dollars of revenues, would you two vote for it in general a could it pass the congress? >> wl, i think the answer to your question, al, for me and i'm sureith everyone because i've negotiated with enougof the senators on this is it depends on how it's done but it can be done. and my answer to your question would be there is a way to get there. >> i'm going to have the mix a little different but, al, you know you've got to have a frame and we held back on some of our details but the template was simpson-bowles.
it wasn't out there but it's had a lot of incoming on it and that 3-1 ratio of cuts over revenues, i'd like to see more from the democratic side, more balance. but if there was a deal that was around 3-1 that had $4.5 trillion of debt removal and we balance this system so we started to move that debt-to-g.d.p. ratio down, that would be a great job generator. >> hunt: let me ask you both a pure political question. senator warner you first. there are members of your party who say wait a minute, we had a tough election in twaen and the republicans have created a rrible mess with themselves with medicare and paul ryan's budget. we have them on the run, we have them on the defsive and now you're asking us to give it up and let them off the hook. >> and i would say we're looking at $14.4rillion of debt. we're seeing other countries race ahead. the biggest single job creator we could do is give confidence we're going to get our fiscal
act together. i think that will help the president and democrats and republicans alike and candidly if there was ever a time to check the party hat, it would be now. >> hunt: senator crapo, similar question to you. reblicans say the one glue that holds the republican party together, the only glue since the demise of communism has been tax cuts. we're for tax cuts no matter what and what you're asking us to do in some kind of a deal is give up what really is our signature issue. >> well, as i said earlier, the approach we've taken helps us solve that problem and do in the a way that is phenomenally helpful to america and the economy. having said that, the bottom line as mark says, with regard to the politics in this country, ose that think they can gain politil advantage by stopping us from being able to solve this problem on either side of the equation are making a terrible gamble with america and our future. we're talking about the american dream here. this is real and i big and
the threat to our country is as real as any threat that i have ever seen in my lifetime. because of, that we've got to park our partisan politics at the door and we've got to get down to the serious business of ndinthose kinds of win-win solutions that c helus to preserve our ideologic approaches to how we should govern but reset america's fiscal policy. >> hunt: so you don't think your caucus will be intimidated by grover norquist who says any crease in revenues we'll come after you in the next election. >> i'll tel you wt, the fives are out. when we announced the fiscal commission plan back in december. every single special interest group in america got their knives out and they're still out. the battle is engaged. but at the same time people across this country who understand that we have got a serious problem and we need to fix it are ready to be serious about getting that solution put into place. and i'm confident that we can get there. >> hunt: and senator warner, a
final question to you. if president obama does come up with some kind of a deal that involves some painful cuts in entitlements and other programs that have been dear to democrats, do you think he's going to be able to deliver most of those congressional decrats? >> i think most, not all. any plan that gets everybody in mike's party to agree on the far right or in my party to agree on the far left isn't going to be successful. the only w we're going to get something of this magnitude done is if we're willing to find that common ground. i know some folks in politics today view that as a... as somehow a gative. they ought to go to someplace that's a parliamentary system. our fore founders set up a syst with chec and balances where people had to find compromise. now is the time for us to step up. >> hunt: can we expect a gang of five report, say, in the next five days? w about that? >> (laughs) let me aure you, al, i hope and pray so but i've said that so many times i, like lori and the others, will say "believe it
when you see it." >> mark's right. >> we are working very hard on this. >> hunt: senator crapo and senator warner, thank you so much for joining us and we'll be looking for that gang of five report wnever it comes. thanks an awful lot. let me go back to lori and julianna. lhor lori, i think they're quite serious about this, but, again, the gang of five has had trouble coming up with a final proposal. boy, it's tough when you haven't been involved, isn't it? >> well, yes. but, you know, if, in fact, a $4 trillion deal comes together, if in fact, the white house and congreional leaders are serious about dng that, you know, the one thing that this gang of six effort has going for it is these guys have been working on that. >> hunt: they sure have. as simpson-bowles and rivlin and other groups >> and theseuys in particular have been trying to figure out how to put it into a piece of legislation that could be supported. and i think... i'm tally speculating here, but i think one niece could become important is how these guys were going to
handle tax reform. because if we what we're hearing about what is under discussion between the white house and speaker's office is accure, then it's going to be something that will involve cutting now and reforng taxes in the future. >> hunt: right. >> and they're going to need some kind of mechanism to ensure that congress does that. and that's precisely the kind of thing that these gang of six guys were working on. so, you know, just in the past 24 hours, kent conrad told me he's got an call from the white house, he woun't say what it was out. i'm guessing that maybe they're looking for some guidance on how tout this thing together. >> hunt: julianna, if they don come up with some kind of a deal by late july, what's the most likely response to the administration? will they go and just start to default? will they choose between bondholders and veterans and the like or are they likely to say maybe the 14th amendment doesn't reallyall for a debt ceiling and declare it's unconstitutional? >> i think it's the first week
in july and thesere all questions that the white house is asking now. i don't think you can overlook the fact that treasury secretary tim geithner has talked about that 14th amendment option as something that he has referenced. >> hunt: which would basically stay debt cling shouldn't be vered under the 14th amendment. >> but you see some republicans coming out saying that wouldn't be constitutional for the administration to invoke that. sot would go through the courts. it would be.... >> hunt: a mess. >> a mess, yes. but at the same time you have the white house at this pot pouring cold water on the idea of the 14th amendment and you have to whe house saying that it's not an optioto have to choose between our chinese bondholders and between veterans and between payg out social security benefits. so they're saying that's not an option. the other is not an option. at a certain point if they get to that august 2 deadline and the debt limit is not extended, they're going to have tocome up with an option. >>unt: all i can say is the next 25 days are going to be fascinating. you all have made it much more
understandable and i thank you, julianna, and i thank you lori and as i thank senator crapo and senator warner and we're going to take a short break but we'll be back in a minute to talk about the n.f.l. and n.b.a. two of america's most successful professional sports leagues and they appear headed for lengthy labor disputes. they could threaten the next season. >> hunt: the n.f.l. and n.b.a., two ofmerica's most successful professional sports league appear headed for a lengthy labor dispute that could compromise next year's season. each is addressing critical questions having to do with revenue sharing, player salaries and a range of other contentious points. the lack of progress toward an agreement threatens to alienate what has otherwise been a yet toed fan base. joining me now, kevin blackistone, he's a professor of sports journalism at the university of maryland and a regular contributor to espn. >> thank you. >> hunt: and in our new york
studios, sally jenkins, she's an author and sports columnist in for the "washington post." i confesso being a long time jenkins sick font but i am pleased to have them both on this program. thank you very much. sally, let me start with you. is this a battle in both cases of multimillionaires against billionaires and who should we cheer for? >> well, you know, that's been the statement all along. it's billionaires against millionaires. the difference between them is that the billionaire owners the ones who actually make the decisions when it comes to fiscal responsibility and the health of these leagues and they're the ones who who have been overspending and they're the ones who are crying poor because their business isn't working quite as well as they would like it to despite the fact that the n.f.l. had over $9 billion in revenue d the n.a. had over $4 billion in revenue. so the owners have explaining to do to their players and thselves as to why it is they're not able to make what they claim to be a decent living on $9 billion and $4 billion.
>> hunt: you wrote it's a case of reckless spending and super egos and they're sayingsave me before iill again" in essence? >> 20 n.b.a. teams claim to have lost money. maybe more than 20. about the same number also blew the salary cap. it could be the should look to their own in-house management rather than the players to take huge salary cuts. it's within the owners to stay within the responsible limits of the league. >> hunt: look at the two situations. are they very similar or quite different? >> well, they're similar only in the sense that you have a dispute. the difference, i think, is that with the n.f.l. it's very much reflective of me of what we're going through in america right now where in 2011 you've had report profits and in corporate america yet corporate america points to the economy says is in bad shape and then points to unions and workers and asks for concessions. that's the exact same thing
going on in the n.f.l. when you talk about $9 billion in revenue >> hunt: scheduled to go up to $18 billion. >> exactly, exactly. which is why the players decided to ratchet back their demands for 53% of revenues down to about 48% because they realized. >> hunt: still looks pretty good. >> it's still a lot of money. >> hunt: i am also always amused by the n.f.l. owners they're these individuals and hombres. anyet you profit from a very socialistic system. >> it's the most socialistic system in the country and it's riddick lousz to listen to them cry andhey won't open their books. but we've got to realize i think america when you look at football players in particular, it's become comnplace now almost every weekend to seeome guy taking off the.. taken off the field in a stretcher. we talk about the guys who earn millions and millions of dollars but these are careers that last on average three and a half
years. 63% of the players once they're done with their careers-- however long they last-- wind up with some sort of permanent injury. so these are guys that should have a real stake in their future and they really have to fight these owners. hut nut that case, it's probably easier to be more sympathetic to the n.f.l. players. >> absolutely. >> than the n.b.a. players in the sense that the risks are greater, the careers, i guess, are shorter. the pay is not quite as much. >> that's true. i've always been a little more sip theltic to the players and as sally mentioned, with the n.b.a., it's a situation much like baseball in the early to mid-90s the players were being asked to make concessions to ownership because ownership h been unable toontrol hits and its spending. so allf a sudden they're turning to players and ying "we don't want to give you 57%, let's name a 50-50 cut, let's
put a cap on salaries, let's get you to help us try and control our own incredible spending." >> hunt: but is there concern that the n.b.a. has now turned into pretty much of a big market rich team dominated by those clubs that exceed the cap by a lo it's not a very competitive league. >> no, it's not. one of the interesting things about this n.b.a. fina was everyby pitted this as the rich miami heat with all the superstar players against an upstart team with a bunch of aging veterans like the dallas halve mavericks. the fact is, the dallas mavericks' payroll last year was $85 million which is well over the $58 million salary cap. they paid a luxury tax to bring in all of these high-priced veteran players who also got them a championship. so they wanted that much far away from buying a championship. >> hunt: sally, we talked about the players, we talked about the
owners, you write about the fans. what what is at stake and what is the affect on the fans in all of this? >> well, the one thing we know the n.b.a. nation negotiations or lack of them and the n.f.l. notions is that there's one party here who's not going to be made a concession to and that's the ticket buyer. whatever happens here, the one group that's not going to catch a break is the fan. because all of these costs of these negotiations are going to trickle down when the n.b.a. and the n.f.l. talk about the incredible growth that they've had in the last ten years and they expec in anothe ten years i mean, their revenues have skyrocketed each and ever year. all of that revenue is other people's money. that fact tends to get lost in these negotiations. the owners think it's their money, the players think it should be their money. it's really the fans' money. i've asked all along what right did the n.f.l. have to a work stoppage and lock out players
and fans from their stadiums when the stadiums were funded by taxpayers, to a large extent. i have a real legal question about that. another point we probably ought to make getting back to the owners there's an underpinning of belief here that the owners are good businessmen. they're wealthy and therefore we equate intellect and wealth. that's not always the case, look at the mccourts and some of the hideous mistakes that owners have made and it's not always true these owners sound businessmen who we should believe when they cry that the business model is somehow broken. it mayery well be their personal business model broken not necessarily the league's or the fans. >> you had the figure it is other day that average ticket price just soared, it's stunningly high in an onomically difficult time. i assume that whatever deal they come up with, those prices are likely to escalate further. is that a fair assumption?
>> for instance, in the n.l. we had 18 teams raise ticket prices despite the impending lockout. the average cost of going to an n.f.l. game depending chon team you want to see, if you want to see the dallas cowboys it will cost a family of four about $700 or upwards. the average cost for a family of four in the overall n.f.l. itself is over $400. there's... none of the four major professional leagues can a family of four go to a game for under $200. you know, maybe it's time for fans to reassess why they're sort of spending like crack addicts on the four major sports when there are lots of other affordable, available things to watch for a lot less money that appreciate the fans perha a little bit better and who value the fan more properly. >> hunt: minor leag baseball for one. >> sure. >> hunt: let me ask you both. in these talks... either the
n.f.l. or the n.b.a., we talk about the owners, are the differences with the owners. are there there hawks and doves and some who are wiser? >> there's a very much a haw and dove breakdown, particularly in the n.f.l. one of the things we've mean? reaching an agreement between the players and the oers, what's reall going on here is less a quarrel between the owners and the players, although one certainly exists, than an internal quarrel betweenwners, big-market owners, small-market ners, owners who are raking in the chips and owners who are struling in towns like buffalo and detroit to make a profit. and so, you know, owners are very much taking their internal quarrels into contract negotiations with the players and, again, the fans are helping to pay for an internal dispute. >> and n.b.a. owners are fighting for some of them in the smaller markets, vying for some more revenue sharing because they realize that without the kind of dough that dallas can put together or los angeles or the miami heat they just haveno
chance of winning. hut shut there a dominant owner in either the n.f.l. or the n.b.a.? >> well, certainly in the n.f.l. you ha to look to someone like jerry jones. he's been pushing his agenda with the n.f.l. for a long time and i think when you look at the n.b.a. to me really it is a... it is the autocratic commissioner david stern who's been running things for so long who is probably to me the most dominant commissioner in pro-sports. and ihink he pretty mh runs the show in the n.b.a. >> hunt: let me get you both to give an appisal of both srn andoger goodell. kevin, start wi y and we'll go to sally. >> i think roger is still new to the game. this is his first labor fight. i think that right now if i were to choose a winner and a loser, if i were... if we were in veg i'd be putting my money the players winning. they've won a number of significant.... >> hunt: in the n.f.l. >> in the n.f.l. they've won a significant number of court cases early on in this.
i think it's the owners now whose backs are to the wall because they realize there is a very real danger that they could lose their $200 million dollar a week pre-season games. i mean, that's how much pre-season is worth. >> hunt: not to mention their television contracts they could lose. >> exactly. >> hunt: sally, you want to pick up on stern and good kel? >> i think they're both terrific commissioners. roger goodell has done a lot to reinforce discipline issues? the league. david stern has been a terrific stew steward of the sport. they've both pr over growth and huge popularity. they are really doing the bidding of their owners. they're not the rl culprits here if the owners are on the wrong side of an issue. they here near do what the owners ask of them. roger goodell is under some pressure to prove that he can get a more favorable deal from the players. david stern is probably under some pressure also because the
n.h.l. withithe last couple years was le to dig in it heels and get a better deal from its players so other commissioners are having to show hey, we can do that from our owrs as well. >> it should be pointed out that me of the n.b.a owners are also tied to the n.h.l. be owning n.h.l. teams and also by having.... >> hunt: here in washington. if they should have a lockout, the season is suspended, either in whole or in part, whether it have lasting effects or will it bounce back after a year or so? >> i think fans always eventually come back. we just mentioned n.h.l., they've shut down for a year, fans have come back, they have record ratings in the stanley cup. baseball it took a while but it came back strong football survived its stoppages in the '80s and i think they're going to get a deal don i think fans are this is the
opium of the masses, pro sports. >> hunt: sally, do you agree? they won't look altnati des of entertainment? >> not only have they always come back, they've continued to grow. my question is however will they suffer some reversal if ther is a prolonged lockout in the n.f.l.. if this field blows up and we don't games the regular season or w lose pa of the regular season. i think then you do risk some fan alienation and i think there is a certain amount of worry that it would take a while to get that audience back. baseball lost some of its audience over a work stoppage and it had to work very hard to get it back. >> i know a lot can happen and there are reports that the n.f.l.'s fairly close to the enbe by a is not even near close but that's because the n.f.l. season is almost upon us and the n.b.a. season are three or four months apart. kevin, starting with you, do you think there will be any interruption of the n.f.l. seasonnd/or the n.b.a. season? >> i think the n.f.l. season may lose a weekend of pre-season
games but i think that they'll get this deal done. it was supposed to be done a few weeks ago, the reports.... >> hunt: how about the enway? >> i think the n.b.a. will be out for a year. >> hunt: out for a year? sally, what do you think? >> i don't disagree with that. i think something could still ow up in the n.f.l. but i think owners were originally prepared to lose as many as four regular season games but i think the court decisions and maybe a little bit of "smell the coffee" kicked in and they're actually not near as prepared for some of those losses as nay thought they were. the n.b.a., i think, is going to be a long hard fight. >> hu: so what you both are telling me is this year vic my heartbroken again by the washington redskins but i will be spare the washington wirds will not break my heart in this season? >> i think you're better off watching clege basketball this year. (laughter) >> hunt:ut those tickets aren't cheap anymore either, sally. >> that's true. >> hunt: i'll do that. listen, thank both of you. kevin, great to have you here, sally, as always, wonder to feel talk to you and thank all of you